Visitors to St Mary’s Church, Horsham, can see an impressively diverse range of artwork on display until October 21.
St Mary’s Art Group, which accepts professionals and amateurs, is holding its annual exhibition in the Leslie Room of the church, from 11am to 3pm, Monday to Saturday.
Estelle Allsobrook started the group four years ago to provide a no-pressure, supportive environment for people who wanted to give painting a try.
“We’ve heard wonderful comments that it’s so friendly,” said Estelle, speaking to the County Times at a special celebration evening at the church on Friday, September 26. “We’ve all become good friends and there’s no competition. Everybody just helps each other along so nobody’s intimidated when they come and join.”
Estelle said she was very happy with the standard of the pieces on show: “We’ve had some very favourable comments and everybody’s been saying how lovely they are. They wish they could stay up on the wall in this room all year round and not be taken down.”
Some artists have sold work, with a cut of the profits going to the church, but Estelle said that making, rather than selling, art is the group’s main purpose.
“We each come in and we have a table and a chair and we paint for about an hour and a half. Then we’ve got the use of the kitchen to have a tea break, so it’s a social thing as well.”
Artist Katherine Plant, whose work is also on display, added: “If you want to dabble, have a go and people will give advice if you ask for it. They don’t give advice if you don’t ask. It’s a little unwritten rule we have. We just celebrate successes. We don’t criticize or critique. We just enjoy it.”
People who are interested in joining the art group can call Estelle on 01403 260699.
No previous experience is needed.